*Larry King, who has interviewed statesmen and stars from a prime-time perch at CNN for 25 years but has seen his ratings sag recently, said Tuesday that he will step down this fall from his nightly show.
“It’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders,” King said in a message sent to fans via Twitter.
King said he will do occasional specials for CNN. He recently reached his 25-year anniversary and takes pride in a Guinness Book of World Records citation for hosting the longest-running show on the same network in the same time slot.
The long-time radio host was a pioneer in cable television, his desk considered a valued spot to sit for anyone interested in talking to the nation. King’s interview style was plain-spoken and critics would suggest occasionally ill-prepared, but he was good at making his guests feel comfortable and ready to talk.
King said he felt no pressure from CNN to leave. He said he began thinking about stepping down as his 25th anniversary week ended earlier this month, on the airplane home after interviewing basketball star LeBron James. During that week, he also spoke to Bill Gates, President Barack Obama and Lady Gaga – an apt example of the mix that he always sought on his show.
“I said, ‘I can’t top this,'” King said in an interview Tuesday.
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